Lebanon Road’s 2011 theme is “Greater Things.” For an introduction and video to this theme, click here. Each Thursday, we are highlighting an area in which we are striving for greater things.
This week’s “greater thing” has already happened, but I wanted to tell you about it, because it was new to us. One of our members gave us the idea, and it was a wonderful one. The elders approved, and work was underway.
It was our Back to School Service.
We did this last Sunday night, and it was quite simple. It was, however, seen as a great success, and very encouraging to our students. Here is what we did:
1. I preached a sermon primarily with our students in mind. The sermon was called “Gathering Supplies.” I had a backpack with me in the pulpit, and reached in for different school supplies (ruler, glue, rubber bands, paper and pencil, calculator, and scissors). Using each one, I made a spiritual application that could be used in the schools (e.g., the ruler reminds us to measure our words). This sermon was a bit shorter than usual, but that was intended.
2. Following the invitation, we asked all our K-12 students to come to the front.
3. Our youth minister, JD Buckner, spoke for about 10 minutes to the students, giving them words of encouragement from the congregation as they started their school year.
4. While he spoke, a PowerPoint presentation was scrolling with the names of every school and every student. (Yes, we forgot one, and it was my fault….grrrrrr) A lot of our folks told me that they had no idea just how many students we had! The presentation also featured a picture of the school, logo, or website banner to add some color and life to the presentation.
5. Finally, one of our elders led a prayer for all our students. This was a wonderful act, as it showed the leadership of our congregation desiring the best for these students as they begin a new year.
Overall, it was a wonderful evening. It didn’t take any more time than a “normal” Sunday evening service, but it truly encouraged our students, and showed them that the congregation is behind them. We will surely have another Back to School service for years to come!